Going Forward

Bret Belden

President Obama visited campus on Monday to campaign for Hillary Clinton. For the entirety of the 2016 presidential race, Obama has been constantly reminding Democrats and independents who support him and his policies that Clinton must be elected to carry on his legacy. He was right. For all of his failures as president, Obama passed some of the most progressive legislation of the last 50 years and worked both internationally and right here in the U.S. to fight climate change, the most pressing issue of our time. All of that is now lost.

The Republicans with their lap dog, Donald Trump will destroy Obamacare and replace it with nothing, taking 20 million Americans off a universal health care system. While flawed, Obamacare was at least something.

When they appoint their Supreme Court nominees and put them in the most powerful court in the land, you will see Roe v. Wade overturned, Obergefell v. Hodges overturned, and anything else Republicans want to do. Their right-wing justices will rule for the next 40 years and will not side with any liberal rulings. In essence, liberalism and progressivism through the courts is dead until we are old.

Next, the Republicans will now hold the House, the Senate and the White House. While Trump is holding his yearly fashion contests in the Roosevelt Room, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will be repealing Obamacare, gutting Medicare, Medicaid, maybe privatizing Social Security and deregulating the entire economy, insuring a 2008 collapse of monstrous proportions.

Trump, with the help of his cohorts, will fill spots throughout the U.S. government. Guiliani as Attorney General? Probably. Gingrich as Secretary of State? He did enough proselytizing about Trump. Chris Christie as something if he’s not rotting in jail? Ann Coulter as Minister of Information? This is what the next four years look like and the fault lay mainly at the feet of the Washington elite.

My first thoughts after the election was how right Michael Moore was. This election wasn’t about Trump’s personality or  Clinton’s qualifications. Sure xenophobia, racism and sexism made great gains Tuesday night and beyond. But there was something else boiling underneath it all: the people are sick of the system. They hate Washington and its cauldron of elitist millionaires and billionaires. The Democrats had one opportunity: make sure Bernie Sanders wins. They decided against that and all the establishment: the media, the politicians, the lobbyists and the cronies that make up our nation’s capital, reaped the benefits of it last night. Hint: there were none.

The Rustbelt Revolt spanning from Minnesota to Pennsylvania took blue states which were Clinton’s firewall. States that usually submit to the establishment candidate did what Michael Moore knew they would do. They threw a Molotov cocktail at the establishment and blew it up. Poor and working class people that liberals long ago turned their backs on, decided to put their faith in a megalomaniac who does not care at all about them. The middle class that’s been shrinking and weakening for decades did the same. The white man who is slowly shrinking away gave his last punch and it was a doozy. President Donald Trump. This is reality, folks.

We must fight this every inch of the way. In terms of the government, there is nothing that we can do to stop the dismantling of President Obama’s legacy. Soon gay marriage, safe abortions, Planned Parenthood, health care, climate action and all other progressive legislation will be gone. The worst of what Obama did, friendly ties to Wall Street, the police and surveillance state will be further empowered. Racists, sexists, islamophobes and morons will be embraced by this radical government. We may well see an economic crash within the next few years if Republicans truly carry through with their Ayn Randian agenda. We know for sure any populism Trump had during the election will not survive day one.

I have hope for this country. I would have more, but the physics of climate change is not on our side. We face a dark and troubling next few decades and a Clinton presidency would have been far more promising in addressing that issue. I sigh in great mourning over the rights that my fellow Americans will lose due to a fascistic nightmare president and an extremist right-wing political body. All we have now is to relinquish the grasp of the Democratic establishment and fight for the progressive values of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. We are going to fight like hell and win. Clinton won the popular vote because we as Americans are on the side of justice, equality and freedom. History is not always a step forward, but we must believe that there is hope in the end. Peace and love to all my fellow Americans. I am ready for a fight. Are you?